Reactive Conversion of Bioclastic Nanostructures
Final rept. 1 Jun 2004-31 May 2006
GEORGIA TECH RESEARCH CORP ATLANTA
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Numerous examples can be found in nature of micro-organisms that assemble oxide nanoparticles into rigid bioclastic microstructures with intricate, but well-controlled 3-D shapes and fine nanoscale features. Because such self-assembly is under genetic control, a given micro-organism can generate bioclastic replicas with a high degree of fidelity upon biological reproduction. Continuous reproduction repeated doubling of such micro-organisms can yield enormous numbers of identically-shaped bioclastic structures. Such genetically-precise and massively-parallel self-assembly is a high-attractive means of generating large quantities of ceramic particles with complex and well-defined shapes. However, natural bioclastic compositions amorphous SiO2, CaCO3 are not well-suited for high-temperature applications. This research is focused on the shape-preserving chemical conversion of natural, bioclastic structures into alumina and other refractory ceramics.